Dear #ClassicalMusic Fan,
In 2011, the same year Melissa and I moved to Florida, Julian Treasure gave an excellent TED Talk about the fact that humans are, in general, losing the ability to listen. He then gave 5 exercises individuals could/ should do to rectify that.
In 1987, the same year I moved back to the UK after three glorious musical years in the USA as a teenager, George Marriner Maull founded what is now the Discovery Orchestra which helps humans re-learn how to listen and engage with the world, using classical music.
How is the human race doing?
We still suck at it.
Because we live with at least two if not three generations that have been told they can have what they want when they want it (sorry, Simon Sinek – it’s not just Millennials who were misled, it’s many Gen Xers, too!), we still hear passionate yelling and screaming about all sorts of social rights and wrongs that is, quite frankly, becoming an epidemic among people who have never had to put their lives literally in harm’s way for someone else’s benefit.
This past weekend saw the first episode of 60 Minutes‘ 50th season.
Included was a non-round table of a hand-picked cross section of USA society… apparently.
Very quickly I saw pride, image and the need to be seen as righteous turn civil expressions of concern – no matter how genuine or not – into shouting matches, dismissal, and downright arrogance.
Nobody listened to each other.
And Oprah failed miserably to let some folk get a word in.
In fact, there were times she seemed to fan the irreverence flames with her own passion.
She missed a great opportunity.
And you know why?
For the same reasons why society-at-large chooses not to listen to classical music anymore:
- It requires too much effort.
- We don’t want to hear something that might mean we’re wrong, or at least don’t have the best solution.
- Listening doesn’t instigate drama, shouting and violent passion, and therefore doesn’t sell anything.
Society at large doesn’t enjoy classical music as much anymore because they don’t want to and have forgotten how to listen.
I get Maull’s and Treasure’s messages.
I agree it is essential we sit up and take notice of what’s going on around us… the primary element of which is:
It’s fun detecting how we feel, what others are saying, and the sounds we hear.
Tis why it’s included in my training “How to Make the Most of Classical Music.”
Get it now, over at the Concert University: